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Fun Facts
Why do Taekwon-Do practitioners use 2 hands to shake hands?

Get Answer
It is a gesture of respect, as we wouldn't receive anything of great value (an expensive vase, a baby) using only one hand.
East Asian Calligraphy for Beginners
General Choi Practicing Calligraphy
Thank you for your interest in East Asian Calligraphy classes at Gotham Taekwon-Do. It is our dearest wish to promote the Art of East Asian Calligraphy in New York City and to share the spiritual and artistic beauty with those who are interested in the art. The East Asian tradition of calligraphy is originated and developed from China, specifically the ink and brush writing of Chinese characters. Besides China, the art is also being widely practiced and revered in other East Asian civilizations including Japan, Korea, and formerly Vietnam.

"My Consistent Way" in Chinese
East Asian Calligraphy is not only a beautiful art; its physical practice is also an effective way to enjoy healthy life and longevity. Since it is a relaxing yet highly disciplined exercise indeed for one's physical and spiritual well being, calligraphy is one kind of meditation which helps to cleanse and purify our body, mind, and spirit from inside out and corroborate our external and internal conditions. Historically, many calligraphy artists were well-known for their longevity. Many medical reports in Asia have also rated practicing East Asian Calligraphy as the number one activity for attaining longevity. Many martial arts legends such as Jigoro Kano (Founder of Kodokan Judo), Gichin Funakoshi (Founder of Shotokan Karate), Morihei Ueshiba (Founder of Aikido), Wong Shun-Leung (Legend of Wing Chun Kung Fu), and General Choi Hong-Hi (Founder of Taekwon-Do) were all famous East Asian Calligraphy artists.

Many principles and benefits of practicing East Asian Calligraphy are very similar to meditation, Qi Gong, and internal martial arts. While one is practicing East Asian Calligraphy, one has to calm the mind, body, and breathe in order to focus on writing. Moreover, upright and ergonomically correct postures are required during practicing East Asian Calligraphy as calligraphy requires the cooperation of the entire mind and body. East Asian Calligraphy is a reflection of a person's mood and feelings, so a smooth breath and a peaceful mind are essential of learning the art.

"Originate" in Chinese
The paper, ink, brush, and ink-stone are essential implements of East Asian Calligraphy: they are known together as the "Four Treasures of the Study". Paper is one of the most famous Chinese inventions. Chinese practice calligraphy on Xuan Paper that is used uniquely for calligraphy. The soft characteristic of a East Asian Calligraphy brush makes East Asian Calligraphy look more vivid, spirited, and rich in numbers of styles. The Ink is the unique pigment of Chinese traditional calligraphy. It is made from raw materials such as pine, oil, and lacquer. A good Ink can produce beautiful shades of ink density on a good ink-stone. The nuances of ink textures make East Asian Calligraphy look more diversified and rich in expressions.

For new students who just start learning Chinese, a basic tutoring of Chinese will also be combined with learning calligraphy, just as the way it was being taught in ancient China. The key in learning East Asian Calligraphy is mostly the attitude, guidance, and methods rather than a person's age, talent, language experiences, or cultural background, so one should not doubt their ability of learning and appreciate the art.

Instructor: Yvonne Yan-Yung Kwok

Yvonne Yan-Yung Kwok is a Chinese artist who started her creative life since the age of three. Besides a wide variety of Western art experience such as design, photography, painting, printmaking, Ms. Kwok is attached to the art of her origin, Chinese Art as well. Since her father is a calligraphy artist, Ms. Kwok has been practicing traditional East Asian Calligraphy for over 15 years and awarded in several calligraphy contests. Also, Ms. Kwok is a student of the well-known calligraphy artist, Mr. Ho-Yin Yung, who she learned clerical script and cursive script from. In a multi-cultural city like New York, Ms. Kwok would like to share the benefits of East Asian Calligraphy and the profound Chinese culture in deep sincerity.